Trump blasts Dem push to abolish ICE: 'Zero chance'

President TrumpDonald John TrumpCDC updates website to remove dosage guidance on drug touted by Trump Trump says he'd like economy to reopen 'with a big bang' but acknowledges it may be limited Graham backs Trump, vows no money for WHO in next funding bill MORE on Saturday blasted the progressive push to abolish U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), praising the agency for its work to “liberate” towns from gang violence.

“The Democrats are making a strong push to abolish ICE, one of the smartest, toughest and most spirited law enforcement groups of men and women that I have ever seen,” he tweeted. “I have watched ICE liberate towns from the grasp of MS-13 & clean out the toughest of situations. They are great!”

"To the great and brave men and women of ICE, do not worry or lose your spirit," he wrote in a second tweet. "You are doing a fantastic job of keeping us safe by eradicating the worst criminal elements. So brave! The radical left Dems want you out. Next it will be all police. Zero chance, It will never happen!"

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Trump’s tweets come a few days after democratic socialist candidate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who ran on a platform calling for the elimination of ICE, beat 10-term incumbent Rep. Joseph Crowley (D-N.Y.) in a primary. 

Calls to abolish the agency have grown among progressives, activists and on social media amid criticism over Trump’s immigration policies, and the movement has begun to gain traction among lawmakers.

Sen. Kirsten GillibrandKirsten GillibrandStates battle each other for equipment in supply chain crunch The Hill's Campaign Report: Biden struggles to stay in the spotlight Biden fights for attention in coronavirus news cycle MORE (D-N.Y.) on Thursday became the first sitting senator to call for ICE to be abolished, saying it has become “a deportation force.” 

"I think you should separate out the criminal justice from the immigration issues," Gillibrand said. "I think you should reimagine ICE under a new agency, with a very different mission, and take those two missions out … you should get rid of it, start over, reimagine it and build something that actually works."

Sens. Bernie SandersBernie SandersDrugmaker caps insulin costs at to help diabetes patients during pandemic The Hill's Campaign Report: Wisconsin votes despite coronavirus pandemic Sen. Brown endorses Biden for president MORE (I-Vt.) and Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisHillicon Valley: Schiff presses intel chief on staff changes | Warren offers plan to secure elections | Twitter's Jack Dorsey to donate B to coronavirus fight | WhatsApp takes steps to counter virus misinformation WhatsApp limiting message forwarding in effort to stop coronavirus misinformation The Hill's Coronavirus Report: Dybul interview; Boris Johnson update MORE (D-Calif.) have demanded that ICE be examined, but have stopped short of calling for its abolition. In the House, Rep. Mark PocanMark William PocanWork Share: How to help workers, businesses and states all at once Students with disabilities could lose with COVID-19 stimulus package Overnight Defense: 'Tens of thousands' of National Guard troops could be activated for coronavirus response | Hospital ships could take week to deploy | Trump says military to help Americans stuck in Peru MORE (D-Wis.) introduced legislation to eliminate ICE, citing Trump’s handling of the agency.

ICE arrests of immigrants with no criminal convictions have increased dramatically under the Trump administration. Those calling for the agency's abolition have said that ICE is being used to "terrorize" immigrant communities through raids and targeted arrests.